The sting of exclusion never really goes away with age. Social exclusion causes feelings of jealousy and dejection, and makes you feel as if there is something wrong with you. These emotions are completely normal and natural.
We are social animals, and we look for groups with similar interests or traits. When our need for social interaction is not met, feelings of pain are a natural response. This doesn’t make it any easier, but try and find comfort in the fact that you’re not the only one experiencing this.
Feeling left out or excluded impacts our self-esteem and self-worth. If you’re finding it difficult to deal with these feelings alone, we’ve found some resources that may help.
If you are feeling excluded, try to figure out what is making you feel this way. What is making you feel left out? Was it a particular event, like a party or gathering that it seems everyone else is invited to, or has it been a collection of smaller events that implies a divide between you and everyone else?
Once you’ve gotten to the root of the problem, try opening up to friends about how you are feeling. This could be an issue easily solved with honest and open communication.
Change your perspective and uncover a way forward for you!
Stoner by John Williams This is a classic. William Stoner grows up with little money but manages to make it to university. He soon becomes an academic and attains everything that is expected of him. Yet he still feels left out.
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
We Are Okay centres around college student Marin as she attempts to move on from a tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Marin struggles through the transition into adulthood from her teenage years, and after returning home for the winter, is forced to confront her acute sense of loneliness and disconnect.
You’ll Come Back to Yourself by Michaela Angemeer
You'll Come Back to Yourself explores themes of lost love, infidelity, depression, body image, and ultimately the power women have in learning to choose themselves.
Lost in Translation
A neglected young woman and faded American actor, meet in Tokyo. They both feel lonely, alienated, and disconnected from themselves They characters experience a sort of ‘romantic melancholy’, finding solace in each other before having to depart.
La Haine One woman hikes alone for 1100 miles solo to recover from tragedy. Protagonist Cheryl Strayed is a recent divorcee, whose long adventure allows her to meet new people and rediscover her strength of self and passion for life on this lone journey.
Naked An unemployed Mancunian vents his rage on unsuspecting strangers as he embarks on a nocturnal London odyssey. This is a classic but be careful it is grim and there some hard-hitting scenes.
Go Help Yourself
Comedians Lisa Linke and Misty Stinnet review a self-help book each week, satirising generic and stereotypical advice. This podcast provides a unique and light-hearted take on mental health with plenty of laughs and heartfelt moments.
Strangers, hosted by Lea Thau, explores true stories about the people we meet, the connections we make, the heartbreaks we suffer, and the kindnesses we encounter, redefining our perceptions of others and meaning of the word ‘stranger’.
What science says
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare states that 1 in 2 Australians reported an episode of loneliness between 2001-2009. Furthermore, 1 in 10 Australians aged 15 or over report feeling as if they lacked social support. Feeling lonely and socially isolated is not a uncommon feeling, especially in the transitional period between adolescence and adulthood.
Psychology Today suggests that changing maladaptive thinking, though less well-known, is an efficient strategy in combatting unwanted feelings of loneliness. Lonely people are more likely to pay more attention to negative social information, life disagreement or criticism. This technique can be developed with help from mental health professionals or practicing forms of mindfulness.
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